Pamela Manicioto: 2023 Candidate for Northbrook/Glenview District 30 school board
Age on Election Day: 39
Occupation: Stay-at-home parent
Previous offices held: None
Q: Why are you running for this office, whether for reelection or election the first time? Is there a particular issue that motivates you?
A: The last couple of years have been an eye opener for me. With so many bumps in the road, I now truly understand that if I want change or my voice to be heard, then I must get involved. The school board has such an important role in our community and I would be honored to be a member to help advocate for my community's needs. I have always had an interest in my child's education but I have learned that running for this office is much more than my child -- it is about every child as well as the community as a whole.
Q: What is the role of the school board in setting and monitoring curriculum?
A: The Superintendent will recommend a comprehensive curriculum that must align with criteria set forth in the board's policy manual. The board's role is to make sure that the curriculum abides by the criteria such as the District's philosophy and goals; student needs; skills required for students to become lifelong learners, and minimum requirements of State and Federal laws.
Q: Are there curriculum issues within the district that you feel need particular attention from the board?
A: I believe the District is on the right track with regards to curriculum as evidenced by numerous Blue Ribbon awards.
Q: How do you view your role in confronting policy or curriculum controversies: provide leadership even if unpopular, give a voice to constituents -- even ones with whom you disagree, or defer to state authorities?
A: Provide leadership even if unpopular.
If we, as a board, are confronted with policy or curriculum controversies, I plan to work as a collective whole. We all have different backgrounds and unique expertise which will help us come up with the best solution for the community as many different perspectives will be voiced.
Q: Concerns are growing regarding a new resurgence of the pandemic. If another massive outbreak of infectious disease occurs, what have we learned from the COVID-19 pandemic that will guide your decision making?
A: The current board did an outstanding job of handling the pandemic. As a community member, I was witness to how effective the board was with collecting data, hearing the scientific research, but most importantly hearing the communities' view. They were true leaders in the area as District 30 paved the way for many surrounding districts. We were among the first to open our doors to our schools while also providing flexibility to those community members who were not quite ready to return to in person school. Due to the district's leadership and forward-thinking, our community was able to minimize the effects the pandemic to our children. I have learned a great deal and am confident we could follow this model.
Q: Describe your experience working in a group setting to determine policy. What is your style in such a setting to reach agreement and manage school district policy? Explain how you think that will be effective in producing effective actions and decisions of your school board.
A: My mom used to always "you were given two ears and one mouth for a reason." I always took this advice and tried to apply it to my personal and professional life, listen more. In any group setting, I listen to all perspectives trying to understand and relate. I can usually then process all the ideas and give my educated thoughts on the matter. More often than not, others will reciprocate listening which will help a group be more productive. I think this experience will definitely help the board be effective in producing the best decisions for the community.
Q: What makes you the best candidate for the job?
A: I am proud to be endorsed by the District 30 Caucus. Most importantly, I believe my unique upbringing attending schools in both the U.S. and Mexico, my time in the White House, and as a successful attorney has given me a perspective to education that cannot be matched. Our district has accomplished such a high level of success and I know that with my creativity, advocacy and hard-work, I can help get us to the next level.
Q: What's one good idea you have to better your district that no one is talking about yet?
A: It would be disingenuous to say that one good idea will better the district. I strongly believe the only way to better the district is by having open communication and collaboration with the school board, the superintendent, the parents, staff, and the community.